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With DOJ Encryption Fight Looming, Are Tech Companies on the Same Team?

With Mark Zuckerberg on Capitol Hill, all eyes are on what regulation might be foisted upon Facebook. A more immediate question is how Facebook’s weakened position might affect Silicon Valley’s negotiating power in D.C.

The issue that is most pressing is encryption. The U.S. Department of Justice is set to renew its fight to require tech companies to allow law enforcement access to encrypted data on phones through a so-called “back door,” according to a person who has spoken to federal officials.

Some disagreement between companies is typical, But on major issues, the leaders have often banded together, eventually. When the Federal Communications Commission first said it would repeal net neutrality rules last year, smaller tech companies were the first to actively fight the move. Some larger tech companies, like Netflix, were relatively quiet. Eventually, Netflix, Google, Facebook and others, voiced their opposition. Now a number of states are suing to block the repeal.

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Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
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Tina Sharkey
CEO, Brandless
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
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Brit Morin
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Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
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Christina Miller
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Max Levchin
Max Levchin
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Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
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The Athletic
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Martha Josephson
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James Murdoch
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Andrew Kortina
Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
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Ben Chestnut
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Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
“To take a stand like Tim Cook against a back door, you have to have credibility...Facebook at the moment has no credibility.”